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Building a feminist future Global Justice Center | 2019 Annual Report

Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Allies,

I am writing to you from my home as our community, and the world, responds to the rapid spread and devastating impacts of COVID-19. This global pandemic reminds us why it is essential to protect and ensure the strongest possible framework for women’s rights, as the inequalities and challenges facing women on a daily basis are further exacerbated during crises like this. On behalf of the GJC team, I am sharing our annual report and trust you’ll find our progress inspiring and hopeful.

Using the Law to Advance Gender Equality

The Global Justice Center (GJC) is an innovative international human rights organization fighting for gender equality through the rule of law. For 15 years, our feminist lawyers and advocates have fought to make gender equality a central component of global governance. We have made tremendous progress in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights and accountability for sexual and gender-based violence—two priority areas that we believe are integral to achieving global gender equality. We have been able to achieve these gains by holding true to our convictions that:

Today, we are witnessing a dangerous retreat from the global human rights framework and shrinking space for civil society, spurred by global trends toward authoritarianism and nationalism.

Now more than ever before, we are working to ensure that global institutions embrace a progressive, feminist agenda and actively counter embedded patriarchy at every level.

Snapshot of 2019

To match our new fiscal year cycle, this report covers January 1 - September 30, 2019. In that time, we doubled down on fights that have always been central to our mission: justice and bodily autonomy for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Security council briefing

February — Our president, Akila Radhakrishnan, briefed the UN Security Council on accountability for conflict-related sexual violence, reminding council members that "Sexual and gender-based violence is, at its core, an expression of discrimination, patriarchy, and inequality."

duty not to veto braintrust

March — We brought activists and experts together for a two-day brain trust to discuss legal limits on the UN Security Council veto in the face of mass atrocity crimes.

UN Security Council resolution 2467

on Women, Peace, and Security

April — We fought back against US attempts to erase all references to sexual and reproductive health services in a UN Security Council resolution and pushed forward our argument that US abortion funding restrictions violate international law.

The Global Justice Center's deep and nuanced understanding of the United Nations system, and unparalleled international legal expertise, is invaluable to the broader sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy community.

Serra Sippel, President, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

Centering Gender on the World Stage

July — We engaged with key expert bodies in Geneva, including the World Health Organization, the UN's Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to provide expert legal analysis and targeted recommendations for strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights and advancing justice for sexual and gender-based violence.

GJC has long prioritized centering local women’s voices and has worked with women’s activist groups on the ground in Burma to provide legal interpretations and advocacy training, which has equipped these groups to be able to navigate United Nations bodies and governmental systems.

Razia Sultana, Founder, Rohingya Women Welfare Society

Meeting with The Gambia

September At a side event during the 74th UN General Assembly, we stood alongside The Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubaccar M. Tambadou as he announced his country’s intention to sue Myanmar at the International Court of Justice for violations of the Genocide Convention.

I want to congratulate the team at the Global Justice Center for carrying forward these very important lessons, that a gendered analysis on genocide and mass atrocity crimes are essential for achieving justice.

Amb. Stephen Rapp, Visiting Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes

global justice awards

On May 14, 2019, the Global Justice Center was thrilled to host the inaugural Global Justice Awards! We were in awe of, and thankful for, the more than 200 gender justice advocates, committed donors, and supportive partners who celebrated with us at Guastavino’s in New York City.

To young feminist lawyers — go to where they say you have no business. The time is urgent and you must take it.

Patricia Viseur Sellers, Janet Benshoof Global Justice Award Honoree | Special Advisor on Gender to the International Criminal Court

For the hundreds of thousands of women and girls in this country and around the world who do not have access to abortion, I am deeply passionate about how we must fight for them.

— Tina Tchen, Feminist Changemaker Honoree | CEO of Time's Up, former Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and former Chief-of-Staff to Michelle Obama

The patriarchy is not going to die easily. It’s going to go out with a lot of noise and fury.

— Abigail Disney, Feminist Voice Honoree | Feminist Activist, Filmmaker, and Philanthropist

thank you for your support!

Our work would not be possible without our donors and supporters. Together, we are making positive change at the international level that diminishes the corrosive power of centuries of oppression and patriarchy and positive change at the individual level that transforms the everyday lives, health, and safety of women and girls.